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Fighting games are the head-to-head competitive video games played by cool people worldwide. Other people can put it so much more eloquently than I:

--- Quote from: Brosnan on SomethingAwful ---Essentially, fighting games pit players directly against each other in a contest of skill, dexterity, and psychology. You can think of it as a high-speed chess match played with asymmetrical pieces. To win, you will need to thoroughly understand what your fighter is capable of, and figure out the most effective ways to apply that against the player you're facing. This simple dynamic is the genesis of countless emergent strategies, and a deeper understanding of fighting game fundamentals often allows for a deeper appreciation of fighting games in general.
Fighting games, far more than any other genre in gaming, are driven by an extremely dedicated community of fans who take it upon themselves to ensure the longevity of their scene. The tournaments that form the backbone of the fighting game scene are, by and large, run by fans, for fans. This year's annual Evolution tournament (often known simply as "Evo") in Vegas was attended by top players from around the U.S., Japan, Korea, U.K., France, China, Mexico, and beyond; it received media coverage from G4, GameSpot, and Destructoid, drew over 2 million unique viewers via live streams of the matches, and played host to new announcements from Capcom and Namco's top producers. Evo was not created by Capcom or Namco to publicize their games; it's not run by GameStop or some "e-sports" league that intends to televise it for profit; it was organized by a small group of guys who simply love fighting games. This is a small, tightly-knit community that paradoxically spans the entire globe, and few people can really say that about their hobbies.
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--- Quote from: Seth Killian like 12 years ago ---Unlike so much of what had come before, playing serious Streetfighter required putting part of yourself, and your self-respect, on the line. SF had a second joystick, and meant it. Its two-player mode wasn't two guys alternating turns, scoring points against some common computer foe. Streetfighter invited you to stick it to the guy standing next to you. End his turn by beating him off the machine, take his money, and make him pay for the chance to question you again. Being in the arcade at all was admitting you cared, and Streetfighter was the king of the arcade. The game is simply too complex to be played at a high level dismissively. By stepping up, you were saying something- admitting the investment in time and effort it took you to get to this level. That was fundamentally incompatible with casually laughing off a loss, claiming this was "just a game", and everyone there knew it. Walking away from the all-too-human being that just handed you your ass was also a lot harder than walking away from third place on a high-score list. Especially when this punk might even be laughing at you (and if it was me, he was).
Serious Streetfighter was a personal thing. Playing serious SF meant playing in the arcade, and arcades are (or at least used to be, pre-Disnification) shady places, filled with shady characters. Going to the arcade meant taking a trip, the entire purpose of which was picking fights with these people. It's you versus someone else, one on one. You don't have a team to lean on, where the brilliant performance of a Michael Jordan can gloss over the brick you just laid. You are the team- it's you on the line, with no one to back you up, no one to help you out, and nobody else to blame when you lose. You stand there together until someone is the unequivocal loser. You play through the smoke, music, lights, and the veiled (or not-so-veiled) hatred of everyone around you. You take all the glory for every win, the full shame behind every loss.
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Ask a thousand people this question, and you'll get 89 different answers. Here are some of them: Hit the other guy until he dies. Block everything. Throw the other guy until he dies. Get a life lead and then run away. Combo the other guy until he dies. Pick the best character. Pick the character you are most comfortable with. Memorize this chart of frame data.
Realistically, there is almost no limit to how good you can be. Throw your first shoryuken, and you can be best of your siblings. Learn how to do combos, and be the best among your friends. Learn to control the fight and win a local tournament. Understand a game inside out, win a bigger tournament. The sky's the limit.
My advice for just starting out? Here are a couple things that I think will benefit you greatly:

Something always beats something else. It's like a more nuanced rock-paper-scissors. In Street Fighter, a good poke beats throw attempts. Shoryukens beat pokes. Blocking beats Shoryukens. Throwing beats blocking. Of course, moves usually have more than one purpose and have different payoffs. Use this knowledge to mindgame your opponent!

Every move has three phases: startup, active, and recovery. If you're in an in-close situation, a move with slow startup will be beaten by a faster move. If you block a move that has a long recovery time, you can get free hits. Pokes with fast recovery are great for harassing opponents. Etc. You don't need to memorize a bunch of frame data; you can get to know how moves work intuitively really quickly.

Evaluate why you lose a match: If you're good at this, your ability will rise very quickly, especially with a wealth of good online play in many games. Some things to look for: taking needless risks, not knowing how to counter a certain move or tactic, input error. Many games save replays now, and they're a valuable tool.

Practice mode: Practice modes are great, and brilliant stuff at every level of play, from babby nub to world champ, is discovered and perfected here. I've often wondered what I could do to beat X while playing online, or just get a crazy idea, and rush over to practice mode and see if it works. And the next time that situation happens, I **** the other guy up.

My rule of thumb for mastering moves and combos is: if you can do it about half the time, you can use it in a match. If you can do it ten times in a row without messing up, you can count on it in a match. If you can do it 30 times in a row, you will realistically never mess up in a match. Just because you can do that fancy combo once in training mode doesn't mean you can land it with confidence in a real match. You need to practice it and become confident!


It's time to party!



edit: Changed to celebrate Cranium Women.

This thread is for the general thread for fighting games! Keeping the arcade lifestyle alive for 20 years!

2011 already released:

--- Quote ---Super Street Fighter IV 3DS (released!)
It's Super Street Fighter IV with a touch-screen cheater mode and some fun features, I guess.
Debut trailer:
How To Be A Super Street Fighter IV Master:
Marvel vs Capcom 3 (released!)
Like 40 Marvel and Capcom characters and OH MY GOD GUYS BLOWING UP EVERYWHERE
Some characters:
Super Street Fighter IV Arcade Edition (released!)
Available as a DLC update or a standalone disc, this adds four new characters and tweaks for everybody. Improved network features! Hope you like dive kicks!
Features trailer:
Arcana Heart 3 (released!)
Anime burst game with a mountain of anime girls to play as, and another buttload of 'arcana' modes for each of them! Available as a download on PSN in the USA. PS3 & XBox 360 version coming to Europe. This game is fun as heck, especially if you like Guilty Gear and not being visited by Chris Hansen!
HOW TO PLAY ARCANA HEART 3 (comedy overload):
Pirates can run the arcade version directly on their PC.

Mortal Kombat (released!)
As a traditional Mortal Kombat hater, I love this game. It looks great, it plays great, and holey moley is it bloody. And fun. The story mode is great. I hear the netplay is bad right now, though...
Hey, Beautiful:
BlazBlue: Continuum Shift 2 (Released!)
From joystiq: Two updates are coming to the Xbox 360 and PS3 versions of BlazBlue: Continuum Shift in May -- one free (to you), and one paid. A patch is being prepared, intended to alter the game balance of the console versions to be in line with the arcade release of Continuum Shift 2.
It will also add new tutorials, new Challenge Mode content for every character, and tweaks and updates to the online mode and its interface. The patch also fixes a problem with Valkenhayn's Achievements in the Xbox 360 version. This won't cost you anything to download, but Aksys will still benefit financially -- the update also puts an ad banner on some in-game screens.
Some sort of trailer:
Dead or Alive Dimensions (Released!)
Their boobs jiggle when you shake the 3DS! 25 Characters! Guest starring Samus! Banned in several progressive countries!
Street Fighter III: Third Strike Online Edition (Released!)
This is coming out for XBLA and PSN, and apparently will be a pretty deluxe package with great features - graphic enhancements and online optimization. No balance changes, though!
Some dude's 3S playlist:
UPDATED feature trailer:
Mortal Kombat Arcade Kollection (released!)
A collection of Mortal Kombat 1-3 for XBLA and PSN. Looks like they dropped the 'HD' feature! Bleaugh
Ultimate Marvel vs Capcom 3
A comprehensive update with 12 new characters, new stages, new UI, redone X-factor, spectator mode, etc, and a low MSRP of $39.99.
Character leaks:
Trailer and videos:

Tekken Hybrid
A cool all-in-one package with Blood Vengeance (the CG movie), an HD version of the original Tekken Tag Tournament, and TTT2 Prologue - a sort-of demo for TTT2.

King of Fighters XIII
The King of Fighters XIII (KOF XIII) es un videojuego desarrollado por SNK Playmore para la placa Taito Type X2 y es el título de la decimotercera entrega de la saga The King of Fighters. Aunque aún no hay fecha de estreno confirmada para PlayStation 3 y XBOX 360.
Se ha confirmado que primero habrá una nueva versión de Kof XIII conocida como la ver 1.1 ya que la compañía de SNK Playmore se ha dado cuenta que la versión final del juego Arcade llega a contener muchos bugs tales como los famosos combos infinitos, en esta nueva versión han dicho que estos errores se han corregido.
Vídeo Promocional:
Super Street Fighter 4 AE v2012 (Dec 13)
Free balance update because everybody complained enough. Arcade version is already out in Japan.

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Coming soon:

--- Quote ---Skullgirls (January?)
A GuiltyGear/DarkStalkers/Marvel-inspired 2D fighter with crazy good hand-drawn animation (1300 frames per character), a soundtrack by Symphony of the Night composer Michiru Yamane, and professonal combo wizard Mike Z in charge of the technical stuff. This one is my most anticipated game! Only eight characters at first, with up to like 50 with DLC. Variable team sizes, kind of like the Capcom vs SNK 2 ratio system.
Hands on with Mike Z:
Michiru Yamane! :
Blogs and stuff:

Street Fighter X Tekken (March?)
Two-on-two Street Fighter-style 2D combat with tagging and stuff! Lifebars designed by Lisa Frank!
Latest trailer:
Dead or Alive 5 (??)
Did anybody get the plate on that car that ran over Hayabusa? We're trying to have a fight here!!
Site & trailer:
Tekken Tag Tournament 2 (November for Arcades - ?? for console)
TAG IS BACK, BABY! And it's going to work with walls, somehow! Annnnnnnnnd the same music composer (from TTT1) is back!
Tekken X Street Fighter (2012?)
Harada and his Tekken team will get cracking on this in earnest once TTT2 is done. Capcom will have no input on this game, just as as Namco has no input on Capcom's SFxTekken. It's the battle of the game companies!

Soul Calibur V (2012)
This sequel looks to introduce a lot of new characters, faster gameplay, infinite stages (like Tekken), and super moves. "Looks gay" - Harada, Tekken producer.
Teaser site:
Persona 4: The Ultimate in Mayonaka (Spring 2012 in arcades)
From An HD fighter based on the Persona 4 game, characters, and story. The BlazBlue team at Arc System Works is handling this project, with direct involvement from the Persona team. The game is due for release in arcades (in Japan, obviously) in Spring of 2012, with Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 versions to follow.

Virtua Fighter 5: Final Showdown (Summer 2012)
The latest revision of VF5 is coming to XBLA & PSN as a downloadable title. Also affectionately known as 'Final Solution.

DarkStalkers (??)
Ono has been hinting about this for years. Something to fit into Capcom's late 2012 release schedule?

Smash Brothers Wii U (??)
NWR thread:
Smash Brothers 3DS (??)
Sony's Title Fight (working title) (??)
Smash Brothers with Sony mascots from new developer SuperBot.
NWR thread:

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**** all those games, here's FGOTY 2011:

Oh my lord has that many ever come out in one year before?  I'm enjoying SSFIV and if I could get MvC3 on 3DS I would get that in a heartbeat.


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